Wednesday, July 09, 2008

On Trying to Make Less Noise

Recently I’ve been experimenting. I imagine that every thought makes a sound. Rehearsed conversation is like rain on a tin roof and self-justification like a squeaky old cassette. Lustful crotch-watching makes a snuffling sound. Resentment, of course, is loud. Fury toward oblivious waddling tourists here in the narrow streets of Florence produces barking.

And I say to myself, “Now, dear guttersnipe, on your way to the library, try to be as quiet as you can.”

I aim to see how gentle and unobtrusive I can be, so that the cobblestones will receive no injury from my feet, so that I may pass unnoticed. I aim to be instantly forgotten. I try to walk so as to make no sound and leave no trace.

I am lucky, of course, that my thoughts do not make sound. Otherwise I would be immediately arrested for lewd lascivious irritating enervating disruptive dangerous conduct.

Actually I would throw myself into the arms of the police. I am all the time longing to do so. Have you seen the police here in Florence? Ohmigod. It is impossible for them to actually do anything because lithe young female tourists are constantly asking them to pose for photos. I am jealous of this. The only way I can get their attention is by getting myself arrested. Yes and I would beg, “Please, officer, don’t use too much force. But a little force is okay! No handcuffs, please. Just hold me.”

A moment, please, whilst I regain my composure.

As I was saying, it’s a good thing my thoughts do not make noise. My mind is that of a drug dealer who smuggles a stolen subwoofer into a stolen ambulance and uses both bass and siren to make his rounds. Yes, my mind is at the same time both Boom Boom and Woo Woo.

There is something very strange about the sirens of ambulances here in Italy: their tune is unmistakably victorious, like the bells that ring as coins pour from the machine in Vegas. These are good Catholic ambulances, firmly of the opinion that the next world is better than this one.

“This is my day!” these ambulances seem to say, as if in hope that the mind will be silenced with death and there won’t be this nonstop deafening cacophonic hubbub, all the time barking and snuffling, muttering and shouting, all day and all night blaring both Boom Boom and Woo Woo.


moonknee said...

Awesome! I love this one.
In particular: "Just hold me" and "barking and snuffling".
This really lets me imagine your life in Florence. God I wish I were there.

Troy Camplin said...

Take the first paragraph, remove the first two sentences,hen add the 3rd and 4th, and the 1st 2 lines of the 5th paragraph, breaking them all up into lines, and you would in fact have an excellent poem.

moonknee said...

I like the addition of The Perfect Photograph to illustrate this.
You look so you. (=so dear)